Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Reading with Melissa of Inspiration and Rough Drafts

Today's guest post is from Melissa of Inspiration and Rough Drafts. We first "met" when my college roommate (and friend of Melissa) emailed me about Melissa's blog. And then it turned out we lived down the street from one another in Chicago. Yes, I'll say's a small world!

Hi, everyone! I'm Melissa of Inspiration and Rough Drafts. When Cathy invited me to write a guest post for her maternity leave, I was happy to help. Not only have our blogs "grown up" together, but I'm also expecting a baby in August. So thank you to Cathy for having me today... and a big congratulations to Cathy and John on their new addition!

Summer is shaping up to be a busy time. Along with baby showers, a couple of weekend trips, and lots of preparation to get ready for our baby's arrival, I'm also looking forward to some down time. I know a baby will change how much time I have to relax and how often I get to enjoy a quiet moment -- so in the meantime, I plan to indulge in one of my favorite summer activities: summer reading.

I love to get book recommendations from other people, especially ones from a close friend who knows what I enjoy or from someone who enjoys good writing as much as I do.

To help you start your own summer reading list, here are three books I've read (or are currently reading!) that would be great for lounging poolside, relaxing on a patio, or enjoying some sunshine. They are all beautifully written and hard to put down -- perfect for a summer escape!

Alys, Always: A Novel by Harriet Lane

A friend of mine passed along this book with a glowing review, and once I read the first page, I flew through the rest. The plot is intriguing, the imagery is rich, but the unique characters are what really pulled me in. Deciphering their various motivations and relationships keeps readers guessing. With a dose of mystery and a dash of manipulation, this book made me feel like I was watching the drama unfold with a behind-the-scenes view.

Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly

When I came across an old post on A Cup of Jo that deemed this book "the best book for mothers-to-be," I had to check it out. In the midst of all the advice and warnings people like to give expecting mamas, this is a refreshing collection of letters about the joys of pregnancy and motherhood. This lovely book kept me company during my two-hour glucose screening -- and I was delighted to find out the author attended my alma mater too!

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist

I'll be honest, I just started this book. But its beautiful reflections on the small but important moments in life speak to my soul. It's just plain good, especially in this crazy-busy world -- a reminder to slow down, savor the everyday, and recognize how wonderful life really is (even when everything seems to be going wrong!). I have to credit Bethany for introducing me to Shauna's writing.

What are you all reading these days? Any books I should add to my own summer reading list?
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